DOJ celebrates a year of crackdowns with new ATF director

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Our Attorney General, Merrick B. Garland, who did not make the cut to be a Supreme Court Justice, is celebrating a year of so-called crackdowns with the newly installed ATF director. Garland seemingly takes his frustrations out on law-abiding gun owners and peaceful citizens over his own character flaws which caused him to fall short of confirmation to the High Court. Inclusive of his shortcomings, the AG could face potential impeachment should the GOP take the Senate. Garland’s derelictions of duty have not gone unnoticed. From the swamp, we’re given a glowing “attaboy” presser about a strike force.

One year after the announcement of cross-jurisdictional strike forces, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and ATF Director Steven M. Dettelbach were briefed by senior ATF officials on ongoing efforts to help reduce gun violence through the disruption of illegal firearms trafficking in key regions across the country.

The strike force was alleged to go after and target the disposition and dispersion of crime guns through several highly urban areas.

ATF Special Agents in Charge described the strike forces’ work on several high impact investigations that identified and prosecuted individuals who illegally trafficked firearms from source cities, through other communities, and into major urban areas where they were often discovered at crime scenes or in the possession of violent actors. They noted that these strike forces have fostered cross-jurisdictional partnerships, cooperation and intelligence sharing among federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial law enforcement, and led to the ultimate disruption of trafficking corridors.

In addition, the strike forces have encouraged partners’ participation in the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN), as the ATF has continued to expand NIBIN’s presence and availability. The ATF conducted over 600,000 traces, and over 8,500 urgent traces from July 2021 to July 2022. ATF field offices in strike force areas seized over 7,700 firearms in the same period.

The strike forces represent one important, concrete step in implementing the Department’s Comprehensive Violent Crime Reduction Strategy, which was announced on May 26, 2021. The comprehensive strategy supports local communities in preventing, investigating, and prosecuting gun violence and other violent crime — and requires U.S. Attorneys’ offices to work with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement, as well as the communities they serve, to address the most significant drivers of violence in their districts. In guidance to federal agents and prosecutors as part of that comprehensive strategy, the Deputy Attorney General made clear that firearms traffickers providing weapons to violent offenders are an enforcement priority across the country.

This is illuminating to see the ATF and DOJ focus on “preventing, investigating, and prosecuting gun violence and other violent crime”…with a note that the feds will be supplying support to, and work with all levels of peace officers. Somewhere in this mix of crime they’re committed to stopping and or investigating, the offering of their federal support, somehow the recent assassination attempt on Congressman and NY gubernatorial candidate Zeldin got lost on their priorities list. One would think the DOJ would be all over this.

The man who allegedly tried to stab gubernatorial candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) was released from custody hours after the incident, just as the lawmaker predicted.

Suspect David G. Jakubonis, who jumped on stage and told Zeldin “you’re done” before trying to stab him with a sharp object in the neck, was charged with attempted assault in the second degree.

It’s quite interesting that we don’t see the DOJ stepping in to intervene in the troubling habit some jurisdictions have where they’re releasing violent offenders on their own recognizance. We all have to guess that maybe this kind of crime does not matter because it was perpetuated against someone while the attacker used a knife, or was it just because they were a member of the GOP?

I take that back, these awful defund the police jurisdictions don’t care who commits what crimes against who (as long as it’s not them), with the offenders just part of the revolving door criminal justice system. No, the leadership in New York have been too busy trying to figure out if charges are supposed to be pressed upon someone that acts in self-defense when they’re being attacked, rather than see that a political assassin stays locked up. Yet, no intervention by Garland’s DOJ.

I’d be remiss to not mention that earlier this afternoon Zeldin’s attacker did get arrested on a federal assault charge according to the US Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York.

The suspect in the attack of Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., was arrested Saturday afternoon on a federal assault charge, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York announced.

David Jakubonis is scheduled to make his first court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marion W. Payson Saturday. Zeldin is running for New York governor as a Republican.

Jakubonis, 43 of Fairport, New York, has been charged with attempted assault in the second degree on the state level. He was arraigned in Perinton Town Court and released on his own recognizance after the Thursday attack.

While Jakubonis has been charged both federally and by the state of New York, there has been no outward admonishment from the DOJ or Garland.

Speaking of New York, the DOJ and ATF highlighted some geographical regions where the strike force has been focusing.

Yesterday, ATF senior officials from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. joined the ATF Director at a briefing with Attorney General Garland held at Justice Department headquarters.

In July 2021, the Department announced the formation of cross-jurisdictional strike forces to help reduce gun violence by disrupting illegal firearms trafficking in key regions across the country.

All the cities that are being focused on are progressive strongholds where law and order has been tossed to the wind. It’s almost as if the local authorities are in collusion with the federal, in order to make problems worse or perpetuate them, so they can come in with a solution (kinda). Not that our federal government would ever do something like that…they especially wouldn’t do it fastly or furiously.

Garland can pop open a fresh bottle of bubbly with his new friend at the ATF all he wants, but that’s not going to change the fact he’s been engaged in severe dereliction of duty. The DOJ seems to not care about the fact that credible threats have been made to Supreme Court Justices, which were thankfully thwarted. Nor have they stepped in to publicly admonish Zeldin’s attacker. Side bar, the DOJ talks a lot about busting people on tax fraud. 

For all the championing for civil rights that the DOJ alleges they do, they haven’t stepped up and told the likes of states like New York, California, Massachusetts, and Hawaii that they need to fall in line with NYSRPA v. Bruen. They’re not sending out blanket statements to states that are scrambling to pass so-called “gun control” laws in order to dilute or usurp the high court’s opinion. No, the Garland DOJ would be happy to see that a New Yorker with a carry permit gets arrested on felony charges for carrying their firearm into a restaurant. I don’t expect Garland to speak up over these rights violations.

All the more reasons why NYSRPA is so important, so all persons can be armed in the event they need be for self-defense.

We can suppose that their tactics are all okay though, as the DOJ/ATF has assured us they’ve been working on “high impact investigations”, like the warrantless check-in a bunch of thugs did over a law abiding citizen purchasing two rifles in the same day. They are keeping us safe. Their strike force says so.